One of the biggest problems that coffee professionals face is consistency. Is it possible to get consistent 20-30 second shots of espresso every single time? Some of the biggest variables baristas face include grind setting, coffee dose weight, tamping pressure, and angle of the tamper when tamping. You can always use a scale to weigh your coffee dose in the portafilter and use a bathroom scale to achieve relatively consistent tamping pressure, but is this really the best way to eliminate variables and create consistency barista-to-barista?
Finally, there is a solution to that problem that also speeds up transaction times considerably; auto tampers. An example is The PuQ Press (No, this is not a paid endorsement, and we did not get one for free.) Think of it like a hybrid of a tamper and an automatic stapler. You insert the portafilter underneath, and then the coffee will be automatically and evenly tamped with 30lbs of pressure (or whatever you set it to) without any harsh angle in the bed of coffee. Once again, machines are changing the game.
There are several amazing things that come by the use of this machine.
Consistent Results. Every time it will automatically tamp to 30lbs of pressure, or whatever number you set it to. As humans, we cannot promise the same results. Why is this important? With different amounts of pressure, it can affect water flow and change your shot times drastically. Different baristas will tamp with different pressures and will “cant” from side to side. Consistency of user experience is the reason that consumers return to coffee shops, and if they get a mixture of over and under extracted shots, they’ll find a new place to go.
Easier Grinder Adjustment. It truly is a struggle to dial in the espresso grinder throughout the day, and it can be especially more difficult if multiple baristas are using the espresso machine. Each is going to tamp with different pressures and angles, and it will be hard to tell if the grinder is out of adjustment or if it is the barista’s tamp. However, if you weigh your coffee, and use the automatic tamper, the grinder is the only variable that changes and it becomes much easier to keep dialed in.
Saves time and money. A typical coffee shop experience is the barista spending 10 seconds making sure the tamp is even, and then 33 seconds for an overextracted shot that needs to be thrown away before they start over. Your customers will be delightfully surprised to get their drink quickly when you use an automatic tamper because it takes 1 second for an even and consistent tamp, and you can be confident you’ll get the perfect shot with minimal waste.